It is critical for providers to keep strict control of their prescription pads and access into e-prescribing.
An office manager in Chicago, IL has been sentenced to federal prison for writing over 3,000 fraudulent opioid prescriptions for individuals who were not patients of the provider. She and her co-conspirator used family and friends, who were not patients nor in need of opioid medications, to take the fraudulent prescriptions to the pharmacy to get filled and then return the drugs to them. Some of these drugs were later sold throughout Chicago, for profit.
Unfortunately, the provider’s trust was broken by this office manager. This demonstrates the need to keep prescription pads and login credentials to your Electronic Health Record under strict control. Suggestions include:
- For paper prescription pads, although it may seem burdensome:
- Keep paper prescription pads under lock and key, where only the provider has access to the pads
- Keep count of prescriptions used vs. what should still be on the pad (periodically do a quick audit to make sure the count is accurate)
- For e-prescribing:
- The provider should NEVER share their login credentials with anyone, this is not just for e-prescribing, but also for patient safety and quality of care
To read the press release from the DOJ regarding this incident, click here.